It’s tough being a socially awkward dickhead. Take it from me – I’ve been a socially awkward dickhead for 38 years, or thereabouts. I pay for being a socially awkward dickhead about two to three times each day. For instance:
1. I inadvertently purchased one of those bullshit Disney card folders from Woolworths, because I am a socially awkward dickhead and would rather nod and smile than say ‘pardon’ more than once to a check-out chick with a strong foreign accent. (This might also explain why Ben came home from school with a fucking trombone.)
2. I hide from people. I hide from casual acquaintances and old friends. I hide behind trees and lampposts and iPhones – not because I’m a rude bitch (I’m not!), or because I’ve got fat since I last saw them (I haven’t!), but because I am TERRIBLE at small talk. Just awful. My heart races and my palms sweat and I blush – actually blush – when engaged in a one-on-one conversation that involves “how are you and what have you been up to since I saw you last?” (the big questions). I know; socially awkward dickhead, right here.
3. I become afflicted with foot-in-mouth-itis. It’s a thing, and I’ve got it. FOR INSTANCE, while pregnant with Frankie, we’d joke a lot about him being ginger. NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT, there just happens to be a ginger gene running through Paul’s family, and we thought it’d be funny (not funny ha-ha, just funny funny) if we got a ginger baby. This meant, of course, that whenever we encountered a ginger person (there’s a lot of them about) I’d say – quite randomly, and without warning – I HOPE OUR BABY’S NOT GINGER. Paul blamed it on pregnancy hormones, I blame it on being a socially awkward dickhead.
4. I adopt other people’s accents. Paul refuses to accompany me to Chinese restaurants anymore, and I don’t think we’ll EVER be able to visit Ireland.
5. I don’t answer the phone. Ever. The chances of an awkward silence are just too great over the phone, so I don’t even go there. A colleague once suggested a Skype chat, and I had to quit my job immediately. Text me, email me or send me a Facebook message, but don’t fucking phone me.
6. I make stupid jokes at stupid times. This is an affliction, which gets worse when I’m slightly nervous (in the hospital, at job interviews, meeting new people). For some reason this affliction is greatest at F45 circuit classes. I don’t know why. The instructor will be going through the exercises, and say, “Don’t do this one if you’ve got bad knees,” and I’ll pipe up, “OW, THERE GOES MY KNEE!” and there’ll be a cold, stony silence for far too many seconds. And then, weirdly, people avoid partnering up with me. Go figure.
7. I tell inappropriate stories. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me, I really don’t. There was a meet-and-greet for new parents at the school this week, and I don’t think Paul drew breath for close to two hours, waiting for me to tell the principal about the time Frankie shat in a park, or the other kindy parents about Alice’s tendency to stick long bits of Lego up her faloola and say: “Look! My got a willy!”
8. I bit a DJ’s nose. Yeah, that happened, many years ago, at a hipster London bar, where everyone was double-kissing. I got all flustered and missed both cheeks, and ended up – yes – nibbling the DJ’s nose. I stopped leaving the house around that point.
My friends, it would take YEARS of intensive psychotherapy to get to the root of these issues, so let’s not even go there. Instead, I offer you this post by way of an apology in advance. If we meet in person then I can personally guarantee that – after worrying about the meeting for at least a week beforehand, and praying for the end of the world to come in the meantime – I’ll either bite your nose, insult your disabled, red-headed son or pretend to be a statue in the hope that you walk straight past me. Because my name is Lisa, and I’m a socially awkward dickhead.